|A Publication of the Republican National Coalition for Life||FALL 2005 No. 58|
Federal Bill Threatens Pro-Life and Pro-Family Values
By Ken Connor, Chairman Center for a Just
What's in a name? Not much it seems, especially if it comes under the rubric of "medical malpractice reform." Under the guise of such reform, Republican lawmakers are touting S.354, the "Help Efficient, Accessible, Low-Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act of 2005."
The Act does nothing to assure that the health care system achieves any of the adjectival attributes reflected in its name. It would not make health care cheaper, quicker or more available. Nor would it do anything to reduce the frequency or severity of medical malpractice.
What it would do, however, is cripple the ability of patients and other health care consumers to hold health care and medical products providers accountable for their wrongdoing.
Rather than protecting patients, this legislation is all about protecting "special interests" like the insurance and drug industries. It maximizes profits by minimizing the payouts for damages caused by medical negligence or dangerous drugs.
S. 354 protects drug makers by shielding pharmaceuticals from punitive damages. The bill specifically prohibits punitive damages for FDA-approved products. It also gives immunity to drug makers for many drugs and devices that are not FDA-approved.
S. 354 threatens Pro-Life and Pro-Family Values while protecting the makers of RU-486. Pro-family, pro-life conservatives should be very concerned about pro-abortion proposals included in the medical malpractice legislation, S. 354, and should urge members of Congress to oppose it.
Hidden in the bill, that is being falsely advertised as malpractice insurance relief for doctors, are liability protections for the drug industry sweeping immunities that will make it virtually impossible for people injured or killed by unsafe drugs, like the abortion pill RU-486, to hold drug manufacturers accountable.
S. 354 would protect the makers of abortion-related drugs and devices by imposing blanket protection from punishment for the makers of any FDA-approved drug or medical device, no matter how many people it kills or injures. This protection would apply to the makers of RU-486, which has been implicated in the deaths of at least five women and their babies. Still worse, the bill protects other abortion drugs similar to RU-486, even though the FDA has not approved them.
Far from "protecting every child by law," S. 354 perverts the law by exploiting the most vulnerable members of our society. Whatever its intent, the bill's impact is decidedly "anti-family" and "pro-abortion."
Were it to pass, abortions would become more prevalent because the bill immunizes abortionists from accountability for their worst mistakes.
By providing protection from wrongdoing to drug manufacturers and doctors in cases involving obstetrical and gynecological services, the use of RU-486 (a chemical abortifacient) would become commonplace, even though the drug is regarded by many as a dangerous and defective product.
S. 354 sacrifices the rights of society's most vulnerable citizens on the altar of insurance company profits. The proposed caps on compensation devalue the lives of women, children, and the elderly who suffer serious injury or death as a result of medical malpractice.
One can only hope and pray that the supporters of this legislation many of whom consider themselves pro-life and pro-family do not understand the ramifications of this extreme legislation. But don't bet on it. The sad fact is that in today's Congress, rewarding the special interests that finance political campaigns and fund lavish international travel for political bigwigs is a priority that, all too often, takes precedence over the need to do justice and protect the sanctity of life.
People of goodwill and common sense should oppose such outrageous attempts to advance the cause of special interests at the expense of the family.
[Editor's Note: While there is merit in many types of tort reform, it is imperative that abortionists, as well as manufacturers of abortion-causing drugs, be excluded from protective laws that would shield them from the legal consequences of the damage they cause.]
Our usual practice is to mail our Candidate Questionnaire to Republican candidates in each district as soon as the filing deadlines are reached. When we receive the results of the questionnaire, they are recorded on our website at http://www.rnclife.org so that voters can see for themselves it those seeking to represent them in Washington are truly pro-life. We hope that this service has been helpful to our friends and supporters in the past, and we plan to do the same during this election cycle.
However, a very telling vote occurred in the U.S. House on May 24th, through which 50 Republican House Members voted to pass H.R. 810, the bill that expands federal funding for research that involves the killing of human beings at the embryonic stage of development. You will likely be surprised to see some of the names on the list of those who cast an anti-life vote on H.R. 810, because they have generally been considered to be "pro-life." This is no longer the case.
The following are the names of the Republican House Members, most, if not all, of whom will be running for re-election. These people clearly showed, through their support for H.R. 810, their disregard for innocent human life. Because of this, RNC/Life PAC considers them unworthy of support by pro-life voters.
(AK) Don Young; (AZ) Jim Kolbe; (CA) Bill Thomas, Howard McKeon, David Dreier, Jerry Lewis, Ken Calver,; Mary Bono, Dana Rohrabacher, Darrell Issa, Randy Cunningham; (CT) Robert Simmons, Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson; (DE) Mike Castle; (FL) Ginny Brown-Waite, Bill Young, Connie Mack, Mark Foley, Clay Shaw; (IL) Mark Kirk, Judy Biggert; (IA) Jim Leach; (MD) Wayne Gilchrest; (MI) Fred Upton, Joe Schwarz; (MN) Jim Ramstad; (MO) Jo Ann Emerson; (NV) James Gibbons, Jon Porter; (NH) Jeb Bradley, Charles Bass; (NJ) Rodney Frelinghuysen; (NM) Heather Wilson; (NY) Vito Fossella, Sue Kelly, John Sweeney, Sherwood Boehlert; (NC) Howard Coble; (OH) Steven La Tourette, Deborah Pryce, Ralph Regula; (OR) Greg Walden; (PA) Jim Gerlach, Charles Dent, Todd Platts; (TX) Joe Barton, Kay Granger; (VA) Tom Davis; (WV) Shelley Moore Capito.
Democrats who defied their party's leadership and displayed their pro-life convictions by voting against federal funding of research on human embryos are: (GA) Jim Marshall; (IL) Dan Lipinski, Jerry Costello; (MI) Bart Stupak, Dale Kildee; (MN) Collin Peterson, James Oberstar; (MS) Gene Taylor; (NC) Mike McIntyre; (OH) Marcy Kaptur; (PA) Tim Holden; (TN) Lincoln Davis; (WV) Alan Mollohan, Nick Rahall.
As you listen to and read the campaign rhetoric please remember the vote on H.R. 810. It's not what they say, it's what they DO that counts!
The research is being done by scientists at Auckland University. It was revealed by journalist Ian Wishart in the magazine Investigate and reported by Martin Johnston in the New Zealand Herald on October 10, 2005.
According to the story, Professor Tom Barnes, the university's deputy vice chancellor for research, issued a statement saying the latest study used donated human fetal tissue segments, including the macula, which were preserved in the U.S. and sent to New Zealand.
Pro-life commentators in New Zealand have said rightly, that the research is reminiscent of Nazi experiments conducted by the Third Reich. The extent to which trafficking in the body parts of the mutilated victims of abortion occurs in the United States is unknown, but we have long suspected that it is far more pervasive than most people realize.
We don't have to look at foreign countries to discover these macabre activities. Here in America, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved what would be the first transplant of fetal stem cells into human brains, a procedure that if successful could open the door to treating a host of neural disorders. (Associated Press, 10/21/05) The FDA said that doctors at Stanford University Medical Center can begin the testing on six children with Batten disease, a degenerative malady that renders its victims blind, speechless and paralyzed before it kills them.
The stem cells to be transplanted in the brain are not taken from human embryos. Instead, they are derived from aborted babies, babies lost through miscarriage, and other surgical processes, and provided by a nonprofit California foundation to Stem Cells Inc., the Palo Alto, CA biotechnology company that is developing the Batten Disease treatment.
The U.S. Congress should investigate the practice of cannibalizing aborted babies for their tissues and organs, reveal the full extent of these atrocities, and enact legislation to restore at least some measure of respect for the dignity of the human person to the world of science and medicine!
Your Member of Congress and U.S. Senators can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard: 202/224-3121.
The Act, introduced by Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) with more than 60 co-sponsors, establishes the personhood of each human being as beginning at fertilization.
During his time in Congress, Bob Dornan was one of the most energetic and enthusiastic champions of the right-to-life cause. Welcome back, Bob!
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